The crop, transport, foot treading, fermentation…. at last, the grape harvest.
This year’s drought that affected Douro made us anticipate the grape harvest by two weeks, there is no memory of such anticipation.
Although the early start of the grape harvest, this decision, like in former years, was made just a few days before its beginning, because grape maturation is determined by grape caste, local and exposition.
The grape harvest starts on the first day of the crop. Due to the specific terrain characteristics, the grape harvest is manually made, which allows the knowledgeable worker to select which bunch of grapes to harvest. Hence the expression that says that the harvest starts in the vine!
Once, this manual and human character of the grape harvest, always present in the Douro terrace landscape, was made by men who carried 70 kilos of wicker baskets full of grapes, tier by tier.
Today, this transport is made by machines and the grapes are taken by Agostinho and his tractor, inside plastic boxes with a capacity of 25 kilos. These boxes assure the integrity of the grape, preventing them from being squashed by their own weight. If that happens, the natural fermentation process starts.
After transport, begins the grape selection, foot threading or crushing in the lagar or in stainless steel wine vats. Then, fermentation occurs for 7 days, followed by pressing, encuba and wine ageing.
At the end of the day, we are ready for the foot threading. It is a joy to step into the lagar with the children and friends that stay for dinner
Every year someone takes a dive, this year, was Zé Pedro’s turn!
We believe that 2017 will be a year of exceptional Harvest!